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‘He’s Been A Lockdown Cornerback:’ Patrick Peterson Jumps Into Top 10 In Latest PFF Position Rankings


At first glance it hasn’t exactly been a good start to his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers for cornerback Patrick Peterson.

A deeper dive though shows that Peterson is playing as expected for the Black and Gold, holding down one side of the field overall.

In Week Three on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders, Peterson recorded his first interception as a Steeler, which helped him vault 23 spots in the latest Pro Football Focus cornerback rankings, moving up from No. 33 ahead of Week Three to No. 10 entering the Week Four matchup on the road against the Houston Texans.

That’s quite the rise up the rankings for the veteran cornerback.

“Peterson snagged his first interception and first stop in coverage of the year, which vaulted him back into the rankings. He’s been a lockdown cornerback despite being responsible for two touchdown passes in Week 1,” Pro Football Focus’ John Kosko writes regarding Peterson’s rankings. 

Peterson has the 20th-best grade at the cornerback position in the NFL and has the 12th-best Successful Coverage Over Expected (SCOE) score in the NFL, which looks at how well each coverage defender performed on non-targeted coverage snaps, according to PFF.

Peterson finds himself one spot behind former Steelers corner and current Houston standout Steven Nelson, and just ahead of Kansas City’s Trent McDuffie in the rankings.

Against the Raiders on Sunday Night Football, Peterson allowed just three catches for 30 yards on six total targets and snagged his first interception on a gift from Las Vegas quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

After struggling in Week One against the San Francisco 49ers, allowing two touchdowns just days after stating that the 49ers had “tells” offensively, Peterson has bounced back nicely in the last two weeks. On the season, Peterson grades out at a 72.8 overall and has a 72.7 coverage grade.

In 140 coverage snaps, Peterson has allowed just nine receptions on 16 targets for 122 yards. That’s just a 56.3 completion percentage. His yards per reception allowed is 13.6, which would be the third highest of his career, but that’s down significantly from the 15.3 he yielded entering Week Three.

Even at the age of 33 at a rather demanding position, Peterson isn’t giving up much separation at all and is enjoying moving around each week, having played 29 snaps in the slot the last two weeks.

We’ll see if it’s sustainable at his age, but so far Peterson is playing well when looking deeper at the numbers.

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